While browsing through one of those tourist booklets, we came across an ad for Dim Sum. There was Hong Kong pushcart styled Dim Sum in Miami. We figured it would be interesting to check it out. Now, I’m a very big fan of Dim Sum.
Traditionally, Dim Sum is thought of as a food you eat when you go “Yum Cha”. This “Yum Cha”, which means drink tea, is the whole event where you sit around in the restaurant, drink tea, order mini plates of food, and engage in conversation with your friends. You can also just sit, relax, and read a newspaper or something. Going out to eat Dim Sum in the US is very different compared to eating it in Hong Kong or China.
So how does it work?
Generally, it goes along the lines of this:
You are seated at your table, and you request your favorite tea selection. They will then brew it and bring a teapot to your table. You are also given a card with a table number and boxes on it. The boxes are labeled Small, Medium, Large, XLarge, or Specialty. This corresponds to the price of the dish.
The waitress pushes a food cart around the restaurant. If you see when you like in the food cart, you request a plate. She’ll leave a plate on your table and then place a stamp in one of the boxes. When you’re done with your meal, you hand them the card. They’ll add up the stamps and tell you how much to pay.
That’s basically it.
(By the way, there’s a new method of eating Dim Sum that’s common right now. Nowadays, most restaurants provide you a checklist of popular or most common dim sum dishes, and you check off the number of orders you like. It’s similar to ordering sushi at some restaurants. For dishes that are not listed, you can ask for special requests. This takes away the pushcart style and makes the restaurant a little less noisy and crowded.)
Anyway, back to Miami…
The place for Dim Sum was Mr Chu’s Hong Kong Cuisine, located at 890 Washington Ave.
Even though they advertise this pushcart style, I knew it would not be the same experience. First, Mr. Chu’s is probably not as crowded as most Dim Sum restaurants are. Second, we’re in Miami, where Latin cuisine dominates I believe. I didn’t have high expectations but I wanted to see how they would pull it off. I was very surprised to find a place that offered Dim Sum in Miami.
When we walked in, the restaurant was not very full. It was very peaceful and quiet. Other than us, there was a large family eating and a table of two on the other end of the restaurant. The interior design and decoration was very elaborate. It had a very Chinese/Mongolian feel to it. All the waitresses were dressed in traditional Chinese dresses.
We were served two glasses of water. Then, the waitress placed the food card at the end of our table. From our table, we can see the two pushcarts that were placed by the entrance to the kitchen. She then pushed one cart over and started lifting up the basket covers and plate covers, to show us their selection.
They had a pretty decent size selection of Dim Sum dishes. They pretty much had all the popular dishes. Here’s a few of the ones we ordered:
Steamed Tofu with Shrimp
The food was good. One thing though, I noticed the size of the food was much larger than usual. They’re usually tinier pieces. The Sui Mai’s were plump and the chicken feet were gigantic. Dim Sum is more about the experience I feel. The food is always tasty. There’s many more kinds of dishes you can order during Dim Sum. There’s also vegetable dishes, seafood dishes, desserts, fruits, and many more. I can probably fill up a whole photo book with them.
(By the way, chicken feet is one of my favorite dishes to order during Dim Sum. Some people find it kind of gruesome, but I love it!)
The dishes were a bit pricier than normal, but it was expected. The feel was very different from my usual Dim Sum experiences. But, what I enjoyed most was, the fact that is was the most peaceful Dim Sum meal I’ve ever ate. Whenever we ate up the dishes on our table, the waitress immediately brought over the pushcart and asked if we wanted more.